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U.S. Says It Destroyed Iranian Drone Over Strait of Hormuz; Trump Tries to Disavow 'Send Her Back' Chants; Police: 33 Dead in Suspected Arson at Kyoto Animation; Attorney: El Chapo Moved to America's Most Secure Prison; 9,000-Year-Old Village Stuns Archaeologists. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 19, 2019 - 00:00   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. claims it destroyed an Iranian drawn, weeks after the Iranians did the same things, as tensions escalate between the two countries.

[00:00:26] Running on hate. President Trump says he didn't like the "send her back" chant at his latest rally, but that chant was based on his own racist tweets.

Plus, a story you'll only see here on CNN. A father held at the border, desperate to see his only child in the United States, but when he makes it in, it's a tragic ending.



ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He says she lost hope that they were going to be reunited.


HOWELL: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome. To our viewers around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Around the world, good day to you. The tensions in the Persian Gulf already high. The United States says it has now destroyed an Iranian drone, but Tehran is casting doubt on that.

It's reported to have happened in the same area where Iran shot down an American drone a month ago. American officials say the drone was threatening a U.S. warship and came within 1,000 meters of the USS Boxer in the Strait of Hormuz. It said the crews used sophisticated electronic jamming to destroy the approaching drone after it ignored commands to stand down.

But Iran's foreign minister, speaking to reporters at the United Nations, downplayed the U.S. claim. He says his government has no information about losing a drone. U.S. warships have been patrolling the Gulf because of recent attacks

on shipping. CNN's Sam Kiley spent time on the USS Boxer before it entered the Strait of Hormuz. Here's his report.


SAM KILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's all entirely routine, until it's not. A U.S. Marine expeditionary force at the ready, while world leaders wrestle with the tangled question, what to do about Iran?

At the center of events, the USS Boxer on its way to the already tense Strait of Hormuz. When it arrived in the Straits, the U.S. president revealing that the Boxer shot down an Iranian drone.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone, which had closed into a very, very near distance, approximately 1,000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down, and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew. The drone was immediately destroyed.

KILEY: The U.S. has blamed Iran for alleged mine attacks on six oil tankers in this region this year. Iran denies responsibility but is furious at the U.S. withdrawal from a deal to lift sanctions in return for expanding its nuclear program.

In June, President Trump called off airstrikes in retaliation for the downing of a drone by Iran over the Straits of Hormuz.

(on camera): The USS Boxer is technically an amphibious assault ship. What that really means is that it's an aircraft carrier packed with U.S. Marines. A means by which the United States can project real muscle, real power, sending an unmistakable signal in this region right now.

(voice-over): And a routine transit to protect shipping lanes through the straits that brings a ship this size, carrying 1,500 Marines, within the sight of Iran's coast, will inevitably be seen as provocative in Tehran.

But Iran flying a drone so close was escalation and risked catastrophe, had blood been shed.

(on camera): When these sort of operations are going on, I mean, there is a potential for a strategic effect for a small era.

BRIGADIER GENERAL MATTHEW G. TROLLINGER, COMMANDER, TASK FORCE 51/5: That's absolutely accurate. And all the training that we do, all of the education that we do is -- is the express purpose of getting after that.

KILEY (voice-over): Iran's leaders say they want to keep the nuclear deal alive and the U.S. to end trade sanctions that are crippling its economy. They see the U.S. presence here as potentially explosive.

MOHAMMED JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The United States is intervening in order to make these waters insecure for Iran. You cannot make these waters insecure for one country and secure for others. You cannot simply disregard a possibility of a disaster. But we all need to work in order to avoid one.

[00:05:13] KILEY: The Boxer's flotilla got through the straits without further drama, its air squadron keeping watch overhead, its nickname co-incidentally revealing how Iran and the U.S. now see each other, through evil eyes.

Sam Kiley, CNN, on the USS Boxer.


HOWELL: Let's talk about all of this now with Michael Moran. Michael, the founder and CEO of Transformative, a consulting company that helps organizations make sense of complex global challenges, joining us this hour from Denver. A pleasure to have you on the show.


HOWELL: Michael, so the U.S. says it shot down an Iranian drone. The word, though, from Iran, they know nothing of it. Here's Iran's foreign minister on it. Again, listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of the drone being shot? Any reaction?

ZARIF: We have no information about losing a drone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Foreign Minister, it was shot down. What do you say?

ZARIF: That's what I said: We have no information about having lost a drone.


HOWELL: So again, it comes down to the question, Michael, of who do you believe, with no evidence really brought to bear?

MORAN: Well, there'd be really no reason to claim to have shot down a drone, or to have brought down a drone, to be more accurate, if you hadn't done it.

I don't think there's any question that this happened. And in fact, the manner in which it happened is pretty interesting. Rather than shoot down the drone with a missile, the U.S. Navy, which has a contingent of Marines on board, its LHDs, brought a Navy dune buggy, basically, up on the elevator, put it on the deck and they jammed it until it separated the drone from the -- from the remote controller, and the thing crashed into the sea.

It was a pretty interesting demonstration of U.S. technology, an expensive mistake for Iran. So tactically speaking, a very good day for the United States.

HOWELL: So Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is warning that Iran will change from its current defensive strategy to an offensive strategy if the enemy commits any miscalculation, this according to Iran's semi- official Tasnim news agency, Iran saying that it is prepared to defend itself, protect itself.

But given the tensions that we're seeing, that are already in play, how would this raise the stakes?

MORAN: Well, you know, that's -- that takes it from the tactical, which we have just discussed, to the strategic. So the reasons these tensions exist in many ways are self-inflicted on the United States' part.

The JCPOA, the official name for the Iran nuclear accord, was negotiated after enormous pressure was put on Iran's economy through sanctions, and the Obama administration thought it got a -- as good a deal as it could get.

Trump said the deal was awful; maybe the worst in the world, among many of the deals he said were the worst in the world. But it is kind of contingent on him now to negotiate a better one. Certainly, no one was thinking that the better deal would be to go to war with Iran.

And that's the situation that we've been put in. So strategically, the U.S. has stumbled into a situation where a mistake, a miscalculation by a rather junior officer, on a small Iranian or U.S. warship could lead to a war between these two countries.

HOWELL: Again we're talking about that critical passageway for ships, the Strait of Hormuz, back in the spotlight. President Trump defended America's rights to sail through international waters and defend itself at any -- any time. Listen.


TRUMP: This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.


HOWELL: So the president saying the U.S., of course, has beefed up its assets in the region, as have many other countries, defending their nations' assets. Iran has threatened before to close the Strait of Hormuz, which technically, it's unclear how they would even be able to do that. But how do you see this alleged incident playing into the tensions that already exist?

MORAN: Well you know, the United States is in a position of being able to kind of demand international support on this.

[[00:10:00] In the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan reflagged oil tankers and sent the U.S. Navy in to shepherd them through the strait, we were in a situation where the United States depend fairly significantly on oil coming from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries in the region. That's no longer the case.

This oil is extremely important to Europe, extremely important to Japan, to Singapore, South Korea and China and India. And therefore, Trump is right to ask for them to come and help patrol, create a kind of a peacekeeping type force in the Gulf, similar to the one that defeated piracy off of Somalia five or six years ago to keep things kind of calm.

What's not useful, though, is to do that at the same time you ramp up rhetoric about the Iranians, as you know, trying to disrupt international waters.

I think the reality is the Iranians are trying to get around the -- the kind of tight ring of sanctions that's been put on their oil industry. We saw earlier today that the Iranians have, you know, seized a ship in the Gulf that was -- that was floating in suspicious circumstances with a cargo of oil, whether or not that was an insufficient bribe paid to the Iranian authorities and they were trying to reign that ship in, or whether that ship was actually trying to smuggle black-market oil out of the country.

The fact is there's a lot of that going on right now, ships moving into the Gulf, turning off their radar and then basically, trans shipping the oil to another vessel, which can then sell Iranian oil to get against sanctions.

So there's a very complicated web of things going on in the Gulf, and the U.S. shouldn't oversimplify it. But the U.S. is within its rights to keep these international waters open, as well.

HOWELL: Michael Moran with perspective on this day. Michael, thank you.

Thousands of protestors in Puerto Rico are making clear their message for Governor Ricardo Rossello: they want him to resign that office immediately.

People danced; they chanted and drummed in the streets Thursday night. The crowd was much smaller and peaceful. This after clashes with police on Wednesday. More demonstrations are planned for Friday.

The unrest started with hundreds of pages of leaked chats where Governor Rossello made sexist and vulgar comments. The protests are also about widespread corruption, including the way Rossello handled the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. That hurricane devastating the island is 2017.

Rossello tweeted that he sees the protestors, but he says that his commitment to the job is stronger than ever. He says he believes he can restore the public's trust.

Now on to the U.S. president, Donald Trump, trying to distance himself from racist chants at his campaign rally just one day ago. The crowd in North Carolina shouting, "Send her back" when he mentioned progressive Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

She got a very different reception, though, when she arrived back home to her home state of Minnesota on Thursday. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome home, Ilhan! Welcome home, Ilhan! Welcome home, Ilhan!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome home, Ilhan! Welcome home, Ilhan! Welcome home, Ilhan!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome home, Ilhan! Welcome home, Ilhan! Welcome home, Ilhan!


HOWELL: "Welcome home," they're saying. Omar, one of four lawmakers, all women of color, targeted with racist tropes by President Trump.

Our Pamela Brown has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, President Donald Trump claiming he disavows that chant at last night's rally, aimed at Somali-born and now U.S. citizen Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

TRUMP: I was not happy with it. I disagree with it.

BROWN: The president pointing the finger at the crowd.

TRUMP: I didn't say that, they did.

BROWN: And insisting his tweets and comments this week against Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen of color had nothing to do with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they were echoing what you said in your first tweet, that they should go back.

TRUMP: Well, I don't think, if you examine it, I don't think you'll find that.

BROWN: Trump also claimed he didn't let the chant last long. But the video shows the president pausing for 13 seconds as the chants grew louder and louder.

Reacting today, Congresswoman Omar with strong words for the president. REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): This president is racist. We have condemned

his racist remarks. I believe he is fascist. This is not about me. This is about us fighting for what this country truly should be and what it deserves to be.

BROWN: Senator Lindsay Graham, a Trump supporter, defended the crowd against claims the chant was racist, implying if Omar were a Trump supporter, she wouldn't be told to leave.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): No, I don't think it's racist to say -- was it racist to say, "Love it or leave it"? I don't think a Somali refugee embracing Trump would not have been asked to go back.

Let me be clear: my beef is with policy, not personality. All of these congressmen won their election. They're American citizens. This is their home as much as mine, and I believe their policy will change America for the worse. And that's the debate for me.

BROWN: That talking point an apparent attempted to paint the progressive foursome, known as The Squad, as the face of the Democratic Party. A possible window into Trump's 2020 strategy.

TRUMP: We'll never, ever be a socialist country. It just won't happen.

A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream; frankly, the destruction of our country.

BROWN (on camera): In the wake of the chant, officials in the Trump campaign and even here at the White House have been scrambling to contain the fallout. The campaign held a morning call with surrogates to talk about how to respond to the controversy and layout new messaging with keeping the focus on The Squad.

And the -- here at the White House, the deputy press secretary, Hogan Gidley, even implied that the president couldn't hear the chants, because it was so loud in the arena.

Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Peter Mathews. Peter, a professor of political science at Cypress College, joining us this hour from Los Angeles.

Good to have you.


HOWELL: Peter, Mr. Trump saying that he wasn't happy with the chant, just as the crowd was there echoing at what seems to be, clearly, Mr. Trump's own words.

MATHEWS: Absolutely. In fact, he waited for 13 seconds to continue talking so they could become more egregious and scream and yell about these things. He did it on purpose. He's denying it right now, because I know what his game is, basically. It's to portray the policies of these four progressive congresswoman to be un-American, as he says they are, because they're from a minority ethnicity, and this is just outrageous.

Because I was born in India, George, and I was ten years old. My family brought me to America, and I feel just as American as anyone else. And I think, just because we're born somewhere else, we should not be silenced to make constructive criticism of the United States policies and the president's policies to make the country better. It's actually a form of patriotism.

He's going after these women in a populist (ph) way to stir up this political base, mostly these people, you know, who are racist in many ways. Most of them are. And they want him to win. He wants to get their vote back again. He's afraid he can't win any other way.

HOWELL: So the president -- you point out the number, 13 seconds. So President Trump saying that he stepped in quickly when the chant started. So let's look at the tape, Peter. Let's play it all out. Draw your own conclusions about whether the president liked it or not, and let's count together. Here we go.


TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!


HOWELL: Thirteen seconds, Peter, doesn't really look like the president didn't like it up there onstage. Seems like he really enjoyed it.

MATHEWS: He loved it. And he was waiting on purpose. They could continue that and make a point, that he agrees with them and this is completely unacceptable, George, in democracy. Because a democracy like ours flourishes on freedom of expression. And everyone's ideas should be allowed to be spoken.

And as John Stuart Mill, the marketplace of ideas, that's what makes the country great. And the best ideas will be chosen. But Trump is trying to silence a very legitimate group of people thinking of progressivism on the left. It may be on the left, to some extent, but it's very mainstream, because they support the universal single-payer system of health care. They support regulation of big banks. They support immigration that's humane and will be humanistic and allow people to come here and work properly and not be vilified and put kids in cages. These women have been speaking on what America actually stands for and

has been going after them viciously. It's very wrong. Very wrong. And they're speaking out against him.

HOWELL: We saw our Randi Kaye interview a group of women in Dallas, Texas, who claim they didn't quite see racism in the president's tweets. Some people don't see it. Some people who can't deny that it's clear as day.

It's been described by one pundit, a campaign rooted in racism. Are we getting a look at the formula the president may use going into 2020?

MATHEWS: Absolutely. It looks like it's a precursor to what he's going to do within the next year and a half to stir up that base of his, which is so small already -- it's 37 percent that want him reelected -- that want him reelected. He said he wants to be able to make sure they all show up. And he wants to make sure he can get even more of them, their friends and relatives to come out, as well. And that may be good enough for him.

I think the American people are now uniting against his rhetoric against his racism and neofascism, in some ways. Some scholars have talked about that. Moving toward a fascistic tendency of suppressing dissent, of criticizing your opponents and vilifying them, ad hominum arguments against the person, not against the actual argument.

This is a signal of what happens in fascist countries. Ones that turn that extreme, we may be on our way toward those. We all get, really, aware of this and try to stop this movement by speaking out.

HOWELL: It does seem that we're following sort of the aftermath reaction to those tweets. And, you know, it's not a matter of right or left. It's a matter of right and wrong. And looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, might be racism.

Peter Mathews, thank you for your time.

MATHEWS: Absolutely. Thank you, George.

HOWELL: The lineup is set next for the pair of Democratic debates. The first night features progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, along with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

And the second night will feature a rematch between Senator Kamala Harris and former vice president Joe Biden.

CNN's Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper moderate, live from Detroit. That's Tuesday night, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, only on CNN.

Still ahead here, a tragedy involving a father, his beloved daughter and an immigration nightmare. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: Family separations and conditions in migrant camps have drawn a great deal of attention here in the United States, and now the focus is on an immigration tragedy. This tragedy is about a father and daughter who had hoped to be together again.

And as CNN's Ed Lavandera tells us, that will never happen.



GRAPHIC: This is the hardest thing for a man, to know that the most important thing in his life is gone.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Manuel Gamez is living a nightmare, watching his life unravel. He's on his last walk to say goodbye to his 13-year-old daughter, who's been on life support since she attempted to take her own life in early July, and the pain of knowing his attempts to try to cross the border failed to make it in time is too much to bear.

(on camera): Manuel says he was in a detention facility in Texas when he got the news that his daughter had tried to commit suicide by hanging herself.


GRAPHIC: I promised her that we would be together. I think she lost faith.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Gamez was given an ankle monitor and a two- week humanitarian leave to see her daughter one last time.

(on camera): Why do you think your daughter did this?


LAVANDERA: He says she lost hope that they were going to be reunited.


[06:25:05] LAVANDERA (voice-over): This family's story captures the often excruciating reality of desperate families separated by a border.

In 2014, Manuel Gamez was an undocumented immigrant, who had spent seven years living on Long Island, New York, working as a mechanic. His father was taken care of his daughter in Honduras.

(on camera): Manuel says that his father was killed by MS-13 gang members in 2014 for not paying extortion bribes, and then after that, he decided to send his daughter here to the United States to live with family members in New York and that she was granted asylum.

(voice-over): Gamez thought if his daughter had been granted asylum, he would, as well, but he was denied. After that, he crossed the border illegally twice, hoping to reunite

with his daughter, who was now thriving, learning English and dreaming of a career in medicine, while living with his sisters.

But Heydi would often break down in tears, because she missed her father. Jessica and Zoila (ph) Gamez Garcia are Heydi's aunts. Zoila (ph) was the one who discovered her after she attempted to take her own life.

Earlier that night, Heydi was distraught over learning her father was once again caught by Border Patrol and was being held in an immigration detention center.


GRAPHIC: She often cried when we would tell her that her father couldn't come. She would cry and lock herself in her room, and when she didn't feel like talking, she would tell me, "I don't want to talk." I would say that's OK, and I would give her space.


GRAPHIC: I feel I didn't know how to take good care of her. I feel like I failed her. I don't know what it was. I don't know why. I don't know why. I didn't know how to protect her.

LAVANDERA (on camera): (SPEAKING SPANISH) What are you going to tell you daughter there at the end?


LAVANDERA: He says he's going to have to ask her to forgive him and that -- for failing her.


LAVANDERA: He says that it was never his intention to leave her alone.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Manuel Gamez was by his daughter's side when she was taken off life support. As he stood by her the day before, he caressed his daughter's hands and face and whispered, "We love you. Don't leave us."

And now, Manuel Gamez prepares to be deported.

(on camera): Manuel Gamez must turn himself into immigration authorities again by July 27, a little more than a week away. His lawyer tells us that they will try to file some sort of legal motion that would grant him a reprieve. But because he entered the country twice illegally, that becomes a much more difficult fight.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, New York.



[00:30:24] HOWELL: Wherever you're watching from around the world, welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

The United States says an American warship sailing through the Strait of Hormuz brought down an Iranian drone that was approaching the vessel. U.S. officials say it was destroyed with electronic jamming. But Iran's foreign minister says his country has no information about losing a drone.

Labor unions in Puerto Rico, they're calling for more protests on Friday. For days now, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets, demanding the governor of that territory, Ricardo Rossello, to step down from office after leaked chats showed Rossello making vulgar and sexist comments.

Boeing's Max 8 crisis is costing the company a great deal of money. It will take $4.9 billion. A hit of that much in the second quarter, and that's not counting potential costs related to litigation. The Max 8's have been grounded following two crashes that killed more than 340 people.

Police in Japan are waiting to question a suspected arsonist, this after a deadly fire at a famous animation studio. At that fire, at least 33 people were killed, 35 others injured when flames took over the Kyoto Animation.

Police there say the 41-year-old suspect shouted, "Die" before dousing the studio with what appeared to be gasoline.

Journalist Kaori Enjoji is following developments and is live there in Tokyo at the scene.

Kaori, what more do we know about the suspect at this point?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well George, I'm in Kyoto right now, and this is the scene of Japan's -- one of the most deadliest fires that Japan has seen in decades.

As you pointed out, this fire broke out almost 24 hours ago, behind me here in Kyoto at Kyoto Animation. We don't know a whole lot yet, George, about why this happened and the 41-year-old who has been taken into custody. He had burns, apparently, according to the police. He has been hospitalized. And we don't know yet the details as to what led to this very, very tragic event.

What we do know is that Kyoto Animation, which is really beloved by fans around the world. It's actually known more by its nickname, KyoAni. That's what people here call them, what people, fans around the world call it.

We know that the studio that they have -- they have two. And I ask my cameraman to pull out. The studio that you're seeing behind me is one of them. And this is where the fire broke out on Thursday morning at around 10:30. We're at the side of that building, but you can see straight through

the windows. You can see the intensity of the blaze. The windows are completely blacked out from the first floor upwards to the three-story building. And you can literally see right straight through the building.

I need to update you, George, on the number of casualties in this huge strategy. We now know from the police that there are 34 dead as a result of this fire. One additional person confirmed dead by the police.

We also are getting, slowly, a picture of how this happened. You pointed out that the suspect seems to have doused the building and himself in what appears to be gasoline or kerosene and then lit it up.

And we also know that there were more than 70 people that morning working in this building. We also know that, of the 34 victims in this fire, the majority of them, about 20 of them were seen lying on top of each other, literally lying on top of each other on the third floor.

When you take a look at this building, you can see that there's a rooftop, and there's a small exit towards that rooftop. But they seem to have been lying in the staircase right at that third floor.

So we are here now at KyoAni, where there's been an outpouring of grief. And as we stand here, a lot of people coming to lay flowers and pay their respects to this beloved animation company -- George.

HOWELL: And Kaori, the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, even tweeted that the fire was, quote, "too appalling for words." And just looking at that building, what's left of it, you do get a sense of how -- how terrible this was.

Journalist Kaori Enjoji following this for us live. Kaori, thank you.

At this hour right now, convicted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is sitting in solitary confinement in the United States' more secure prison. He's serving his newly-imposed life sentence in the Super Max in Colorado, which houses some of Americas worst criminals. No one has ever escaped Super Max. But experts say that is not likely to stop El Chapo from trying.

[00:35:18] Our Brian Todd has this.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His track record of violence is horrifying. His skill at spectacular prison escapes legendary. But now, the convicted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman might have met his match.

In an operation designed to keep the modern-day criminal Houdini from escaping, El Chapo's lawyer confirms his client was flown by helicopter and then plane to America's only Super Max prison, called ADX in Florence, Colorado. El Chapo was sentenced to life plus 30 years on Wednesday after being

convicted on ten counts related to his drug-trafficking operations. But now, former DEA agents and other analysts tell CNN they believe El Chapo's associates may have already cased the Super Max facility to plot a possible escape, something he's done time and time again.

MALCOLM BEITH, AUTHOR, "THE LAST NARCO": You can find it on Google Earth now. So there's no doubt that his cronies, his you know, hardest men have looked into all possible scenarios. Would they be willing -- is he worth, you know, them launching a full-scale attack on the prison?

TODD: The Florence Super Max houses notorious terrorists like the Boston Marathon bomber and the Unabomber, and no one's ever escaped.

Former prison officials say El Chapo will be in a seven-by-12-foot cell at least 23 hours a day. But experts say this is an inmate who could likely test this airtight facility like no other.

At Mexico's maximum-security Altiplano Prison in 2015, El Chapo disappeared while walking through a shower stall. There was an escape hatch in the floor that led to an elaborate tunnel, complete with electricity, lighting, tracks laid along the ground and a modified motorcycle cart for transportation.

He once escaped another high-security Mexican prison, reportedly hidden in a laundry cart. And he once got out of a safe house into a tunnel and escaped completely naked, while police were closing in on him.

MICHAEL VIGIL, FORMER DEA CHIEF OF INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS: Chapo Guzman I consider to be the modern-day Houdini. He escapes from the two most maximum secure penitentiaries in Mexico. And the one in Altiplano was the most spectacular prison break that I've seen anywhere in the world.

TODD: One former Bureau of Prisons officials says, unlike his previous attempts, it's not likely El Chapo or his men can get to the warden or guards at the Super Max in order to breach the facility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be impossible to corrupt one person, two people. There's just too many checks and balances in the system. You know, control centers cracking doors.

TODD: But could El Chapo's wife, Emma Coronel, a former beauty queen, help him escape? It's unclear if she would be given the chance to visit him there.

At his trial, a former associate testified that Coronel helped him with that 2015 Altiplano escape, passing messages to and from him. She has not been charged with any crime, however.

BEITH: I think she'll visit him and pass messages to family. He has sons who are running the cartel, and I think that's -- that's going to stay her role. TODD (on camera): Experts say, given the security at that prison,

it's unlikely that Emma Coronel will be able to help facilitate an escape.

Could El Chapo be targeted by other inmates at that facility? Analysts say it's unlikely that he'll be allowed any contact with other inmates.

But one expert says some of El Chapo's oldest and most feared enemies are also there. And he says he wouldn't rule out an attempt.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Brian, thank you.

Still ahead, archaeologists can't believe what they found near Jerusalem, and they're calling it a once-in-a-lifetime game-changer.


[00:41:04] HOWELL: Welcome back.

Archaeologists are stunned by incredible find near Jerusalem. It's a 9,000-year-old village providing a wealth of information about the stone age. Here's Michael Holmes.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just off a busy highway just outside Jerusalem, a remarkable find. A Neolithic village from the latter part of the Stone Age, 9,000 years old, a discovery that has astounded veteran archaeologists.

JACOB VARDI, ARCHAEOLOGIST: What we have here in Motza is a game- changer.

HOLMES: Archaeologist Jacob Vardi has been doing this a long time and couldn't believe what was lying just below what was a vineyard.

VARDI: It was hard for me to accept this in the beginning, but archaeological evidence don't lie. What you see here is a building. We are inside of a large room of a 9,000-year-old building.

HOLMES: No one had any idea what was here until Jerusalem needed a new highway. In this part of the world, an archeological survey always comes first. And even experts used to finding amazing things in this region were stunned. Not just by the village they found but the size of it, home they believe, to perhaps 3,000 people.

VARDI: Not only that we found the village, it's a mega site. If I compare it to modern days, it -- it can be equivalent to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, when we talk about the size. It's amazing.

HOLMES (on camera): One of the most remarkable things about the site is how ordered it is. Early city planning, if you like. You've got house, house, house, laneways between the houses, and here, the equivalent of one of the main roads.

VARDI: We have areas that were probably kitchens, with stone tools, grinding stones, and mortars that are used to process the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HOLMES (voice-over): What they have already learned from this village about that period 9,000 years ago is enormous. The structure of society more complex than expected. The agricultural knowledge much greater, the tools more advanced than they unimagined.

And they've only just begun. The follow-up research and cataloging will take years, and much, much more will be learned. But, he says it is the highlight of his career. Nothing could top this.

VARDI: It's a once-in-a-lifetime project, and I couldn't hope for anything better than this. It's -- it's an amazing discovery.

HOLMES: As for the highway planned that led to the discovery of this place, that road is still needed. After the site has been meticulously documented, catalogued and digitally surveyed, some of it will be preserved for tourism and study. The rest? Well, that highway will still be built, and much of a 9000-year-old village will disappear once again.

Michael Holmes, CNN, Jerusalem.


HOWELL: Fascinating, Michael, thank you.

And thank you for being with us for this edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. WORLD SPORT is next. You're watching CNN.


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